You know it's bunkum
- because we told you -
2009 BUNKUM AWARDS
Master chef gets served up by Crawford.
You can put down the glasses, Chef de Mission, President, International Delegate, Mahatma, John Dowling Coates, wins the 2009 Bunkum Platinum Award by the length of the straight. It's Coates first, daylight second.
One online correspondent reported that
'John Coates went into overdrive. He gave Federal Sports minister Kate Ellis a couple of public blasts; he was on every media medium that would give him a voice; and now, he may have precipitated a court case about the material contained in the contributing papers that the Crawford Report relied upon for factual information.'
He loves court cases our John. He's a lawyer.
A spray of long-winded letters from London to newspapers and anyone who was on his email list didn't do his cause any good; just made him a laughing stock. You can read it for yourself on this link.
The Crawford Report agrees with what Bunkum has been saying these past few years. The focus on Olympic medals is awry, aiding minor and obscure sports, prizing individual sports above team sports and potentially punishing the popular sports that Australians most love to play and watch. It's perverted the course of sport in this country. Participation rates in the country have never been lower. Weeds are springing up in netball and tennis courts all over the place. In effect, it's bunkum.
In the past millions of kids played sport and a few excelled. Now a few excel and millions of kids sit on their bums, twiddling their thumbs on Play Station terminals.
Every since 1976, the Australian Institute of Sport has been pouring money willy nilly down the Olympic black hole, funding sport for the few, instead of sport for all. It's taken someone over 30 years to point out that this is bunkum.
For a significant proportion of that time Coates was on the Board of first the Australian Institute of Sport (1985) and then Deputy Chairman (1986-1989), and then the Board of its successor, the Australian Sports Commission (1987-1989) and then Deputy Chairman (1989-1998).
During that time the AIS/ASC was acting like a branch office of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Australian Olympic Committee. While John Coates wears the Australian coat of arms on his blazer, the Sports Commission wears the Olympic logo on the front of its office. It's been a very cosy relationship that hasn't done sport-for-all and sport-for-getting-fitter-and-healthier much good.
By implication, the Sports Commission does not come out of the Crawford Report unscathed. It's given lip service to a large slab of its charter, the promotion of sports participation.
In large measure it was founded on a policy designed to emulate the sporting policy of countries where they blow air up swimmers bums to make the float better, places where you can't get a decent pie or even a tomato sandwich.
Is the cycling a patch on the Tour de France? Nope
How 'bout the rugbys? Not there.
Or Australian Rules Football, the biggest sport in Australia? Certainly not there.
Do they play cricket in the Olympics? Nope.
Do they play the best basketball or baseball? Nope.
Golf anyone? Nope.
Are there sports in the Olympics that could hold their AGM in a phone box and can't rub two sticks together? Sure are.
Has this focus on elite sport perverted the course of sport in Australia? Sure has.
It's certainly happened in tennis. The more Tennis Australia has focussed on breeding top 100 tennis players the fewer they've produced.
But does it matter. Nope. Just let people play tennis for the heck of it, for their own satisfaction. That's it. That's sport-for-all. It requires no justification.
The Olympic justification - to take part. The reality - it's become a bloated, quasi religious slug that does none of the nations involved any good, particularly those who host it.
The NSW Government is still reeling from the billions it poured into the Sydney Olympics, at the same time taking its attention away from things that really matter.
The Olympic Games is just another variant of bread and circuses, without the bread.
Now Coates is 'pissed off' that his expansive submission to the Crawford Enquiry was ignored. You can view the submission online. You can see why it was ignored. The $100m is to prop up a pissant group of sports, many of whom will never win any of the medals Coates thinks we deserve.
Think again. In 2008 Coates received $459,660 in salary and $29,935 in motor vehicle expenses. I'm presuming he has a six cylinder car, and if that's the case, at 63 cents a kilometre, he must have driven to Perth and back a few times to rack up the 47,515 kilometres to rack and claim the $20,935.
Coates as Chairman receives more than the CEO.
And that's not all of his Olympic winnings. Coates also had a windfall in April 2008 when Alan Jones wrote him a cheque for $360,000.
Christ knows what it costs to fly him around the world down the sharp end of planes and put him up in flash pubs, or where that appears in the AOC accounts.
Senior staff of the AOF are also in on the Coates gravy train. Last year the invisible Secretary General received $309,500 and car expenses to the tune of $20,881 and in 2008.
$440,000 was spent on two positions, Director Media and Communications and Director of Marketing and Brand Protection. When the only brand being protected is five coloured circles you'd reckon you could get a drover's dog to do that.
Oh, I forgot about the Boxing Kangaroo, registered in October 1987 while Coates was a member of the Australian Institute of Sport Board!
For all the money they earn you never hear a peep out of these executives.
But at least you know that for a tad shy of half a million bucks, the Olympic Committee is getting John Coates' undivided attention! Or is it? Here's some of the other hijinks the mercurial John Coates is up to.
As they say, if you want a job done, ask a busy person. Ozzie John is certainly a busy boy.
Me thinks Mr Coates may be a tad over-stretched, hence his intemperate remarks on the release of the Crawford Report. He is a capable man, but when you look at the list of committees you have to ask yourself what's going on at the AOC. It looks like their dream run is over. The Poms will win more medals. Coates will be shocked and devastated.
On reflection, what is interesting when reading some of the reports is that the AOF, tin pot outfit that it is, pays its Chairman more than its phantom Chief Executive Officer. In corporate Australia this is exceedingly unusual. In the case of David Jones, the CEO takes home $6m or so dollars. The Chairman by comparison pockets less than 10% of that amount.
This is a lead the AOF might consider, though as a not-for-profit organisation one would think that it would be something the Chairman was doing out of the goodness of his heart.
Which begs the question. 'Does John Dowling Coates chair the AOC out of the goodness of his heart, the goodness of his pocket, or some other motive to which we are not privy?' Only he and the members of the AOC can answer that question. I doubt the rest of the committee will even think about it. They're all marching behind John, lock step, boots lathered in gravy.
Do you like my new hair? Do you think I
look more like Paul McCartney or Donald Trump?
A non-listed company, the AOC survives off the investments derived from the $88m wormed out of the NSW government in 1999, an investment which for all the 'expert advice' they receive has returned an average of 6% over its lifetime. The drovers dog and a dart board could have bettered that. The other income comes in the form of donations from a gullible Australian public and sponsorships from companies who would do well to better the interest of shareholders by upping the dividend.
Another interesting thing about the Australian Olympic Committee is that it takes credit where credit isn't due.
The results that Australians achieve at the Olympic Games are their own results, borne out of their own efforts. Some athletes receive government stipends through the Australian Institute of Sport. In fact some have been receiving stipends for so long that if the AIS was a tertiary institute many of them would have had time to graduate with a PhD!
Swimming, athletics and gymnastics fall into this category.
Swimming and gymnastics are sports with hardly any adult competitors. You could count on the non-opposable digits of one hand the number of people over the age of 25 who regularly compete in interclub gymnastics and swimming .
GOLD AWARD - for ineptitude
Inept as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Even more inept as the Minister in Charge of Building Houses for Aborigines, - will you put your hands together for Jenny Macklin.
What else did you expect
me to do with $45m,
build a house?
Jenny Macklin is overseeing the most ineptly managed program ever to give housing to indigenous Australians? Two years and not one house built; the average cost per house to be more than three times the cost of building a McMansion in any capital city.
SILVER AWARD - and bar
Interest rates are too low.
The po-faced Guvnor of the Reserve Bank, gets the 2009 Bunkum Silver Award for putting up interest rates and the Australian dollar thereby forcing manufacturing industry to its knees - and exporting jobs to Asia.
The Po thinks interest rates are too low. 15% on my over draft doesn't sound like it's low to me. It was 11% in 2000, when the Reserve Bank interest rate was 6%.
This bloke lives in a different world from the rest of us.
Here's how he communicates.
In Australia there are three parties to the separation of powers, the Executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The Reserve Bank is not one of those parties.
It is high time the Government took back the role of setting interest rates and got its hands on all the levers needed to successfully manage the economy.
SILVER AWARD - for interest rates
Interest rates are too high.
Every time you hear the Treasurer mouth off at the banks for raising interest rates, you know he hasn't got the guts to say the same thing about the Reserve Bank.
Swan is the chief financial officer of a government that gives out taxpayer's money with one hand and has the Reserve Bank swipe it away with the other.
If the money supply has to be restricted at least have it restricted by the Government. It's called tax! At least it stays in the system. Once the RBA gets hold of it, it disappears down a big black hole and ends up in Wall St.
Is there any credit we can give the Swan for saving us from the GFC? Doubtful, but schools will be mightily proud of their new sports halls.
A government that passes off it's ability to set interest rates is like a government that subcontracts out it's own defence arrangements.
SILVER AWARD - for unfinished business
It was no oversight that when the Prime Minister gave an apology to people who as children had been brutalised in orphanages, he omitted to set in train a Royal Commission into the organisations and people who perpetuated the brutality.
An apology with all its mock seriousness, followed by a cup of tea is easy. Sticking it up the churches is hard.
The dreadful stain on our history has not been washed away. The veil of tears has not been rent asunder. Roaring lions are still walking around seeking whom they may devour.
Those who attended the ceremony must have come away with a nasty taste in their mouth.
This is unfinished business.
BRONZE AWARD - lost in inaction
Minister Plibersek prepared to
settle down for the night.
BRONZE AWARD - constant gouging
Graeme Samuel, still asleep on the job
Graeme Samuel gets the 2009 Bunkum Constant Gouging award for the second year running for again letting the oil, medical and dental industries rip off Australian consumers.
Graeme, how come petrol in Canberra is more than 10 cents higher than it is in Sydney?
Graeme, how is it that when the Australian dollar is worth around $US.90 and the price of crude oil per barrel is about half what it was a year or so ago, that we're paying $1.30 a litre?
Graeme how come the price of petrol sold at petrol stations owned by different companies goes up lock step every week? In a mixed, unregulated, competitive economy there should be constant pressure to lower prices, not raise them.
In a recent report your officers indicated that they suspected there may be collusion by the oil companies. We know that. For Christ's sake do something about it or relinquish your commission!
There are two things that will stop these rorts.
1. Placing wire taps on the phone, fax and email line of every petrol refining executive and every petrol station in the country and rooting out the core of this rotten industry.
2. Setting up a Government petrol distribution scheme, or encouraging the NRMA to get of it's fat arse and set one up for its members. Heaven knows they've got the money to do it.
BRONZE AWARD -for healthfare
There's nothing to smile about here.
Health Minister Roxon gets her award for continuing to ensure that the financial health of the pharmaceutical and medical industries increases in direct, inverse proportion to the health of Australians.
It's time the Government split the Department of Health into two separate and distinct departments -
• Department of Medicine
• Department of Health and Fitness.
Until that happens expect more of the same. The health of Australians will continue to decline.
Another thing the Government needs to do is reduce the protection of the medical and pharmaceutical industries. They've become bloated and inefficient. $80B a year and guess what, they want more.
And one more thing, Minister Roxon can't make the distinction between providing medical care and providing welfare. It's time we had a minister who could.
BRONZE AWARD - for inhuman rights
George Pell shows off his new frock 'n hat.
George Pell gets the true to form award for going down to Canberra to lobby against a Human Rights Bill. Never in the history of the world has there been an organisation that has persistently denied people their human rights than the Holy Catholic Church.
In sombre mood and deep in though about what to do with his paedophile staff members when this photo was taken, he is, nevertheless a smart cross-dresser.
BRONZE AWARD - posthumous award for brainwashing young children
I've seen a news report that this sainthood has been recommended because a woman who had cancer went into remission because she prayed to a picture of Mary McKillop. If it were a hundred people, maybe you could start to prick your ears up. But this is the Catholic church. They can only count to 1. But a single god, a single virgin birth and a single resurrection does not a religion make.
McKillop, it's bunkum
BRONZE AWARD FOR GETTING IT WRONG
You voted for the GST, now you can
vote for a big tax on everything.
Penny Wong got it wrong. If everyone called in the carbon cops and committed themselves to lowering their carbon footprint by 50%; if we flooded this country with windmills, solar and tidal generators and the odd nuclear power station, we'd reduce carbon emissions like nobodies business and wouldn't need to have a big tax on everything.
Nor would we need an army of 5,000 public servants to work out how to pay off the big polluters or give us our money back.
Never in the history of meteorology has one person been less convincing in reducing carbon emissions that Miss Wong.
One of Bunkum's recommendations is for the Government to have a power generation contribution scheme, (PGCS) where it pays the initial cost of putting solar and wind energy generators on houses, with savings paying off the capital cost over, say ten years.
If it's good enough to HECS tertiary students then it's good enough to have a solar contribution scheme to lower greenhouse gasses.
Bunkum also believes that ever farm should devote 20% of it's land area to trees. This too could be funded by a HECS-type scheme, with repayments coming from increased production due to changes in the micro climate, increased rainfall and soil conservation. Then that bloke up in Cooma could come down out of his tree. By the look of him it's not doing his health any harm and if one of his new year's resolutions was to lose weight he's definitely found a good way to do it.
MEMBER FOR GREY AWARD
Liberal Party Member for Grey award
Last year we gave the Federal Liberal party the Member for Grey Award. We said that 'When we see some unity of purpose, some conviction, some passion, some spunk, some fire in the belly, some gumption, some policy, some unbounded authority, some oratory that's not punctuated with ums and ahs we'll post the picture.'
Here's the picture.
We've now got a fight on our hands. Ring the bells!